Monday, May 13, 2019

William Davis Hayden

Olive Hayden's father, William Davis Hayden was a bit of an importaint man in the community. School teacher, town clerk and twelve years a selectman.  Elected to the position of County Commissioner for Somerset County, where he served for six years. Following he was again chosen selectman and served four years as chairman of the board.  He was postmaster of Madison Centre for thirty years. Serving as a member of the State Democratic committee for fifteen years. He was refered to as "one of the ablest campaign leaders of his time."

It was in 1882 William Davis Hayden, a spritualist himself, bought and helped reconstruct a meeting hall on the shores of Hayden Lake for the Madison Spiritualist Association. When General R.B. Shepherd bought the hall and lake land in 1895 for the Somerset Traction Company he intended to, and did, create an amusement park for his trolly service, and turned the large building into a skating rink. That building went through a few changes over the years, but it is now the historic Lakewood Theater.

Saturday, May 11, 2019


The tea you'll find available at the Sugar Tree Cottage on Olive Street is Tealightful Tea, to taste and to purchase there, or you may order online through my personal independent ambassador link.

All of these sales will also help to support the On Olive Street project.  Just click  here 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

a coat of paint

Something I have known since I was a kid (my father was a house painter) is that a simple coat of paint can make big changes!  No more yellow kitchen cabinets at the Tower House, but beautiful white that really makes the room look bigger! (and cleaner)  

Thursday, May 2, 2019


Right in the middle, on the island of land that the circut of Olive Street cradles, is number 29. If you draw a slightly curved line from the Tower House to the Sugar Tree Cottage, in between is a smaller camp. Fixed up (all of the houses we have on Olive Street need a bit of fixing) it should make a cozy place for my son to spend his summers, if not longer.  All of his summers since 2011 have been spent around the  Lakewood Theater. He was part of several Young Performers/Teen, Tech & Tour performances, and has now also appeared in nearly a dozen main stage productions. Additionally he ushers regularly, and sometimes works backstage.  He has acted, directed and stage managed with/at/for several other companies as well, but I do believe Lakewood is his favorite and there's no place he'd rather be.[other than Salamanca Spain perhaps] He intends to be a part of the Lakewood community for a long, long, very long time indeed, so it's nice to have a place for him to hang his hat! 

Unfortunately, due to it's location at the bottom of the hill,  there is indeed some water that seems to settle right there in the front yard of the camp during the springtime thaw... and so it has earned the nickname "Swampy."  

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Miss Olive Hayden

I have not had the chance to fully introduce you to Olive Hayden, for whom Olive Street is named, but as it sometimes goes, how we are remembered in the end tells our story for us.

Olive wrote occasionally for the Somerset Reporter, and the Independent Reporter, both being newspapers based in Skowhegan. I do not know who wrote this lovely piece about her passing, and created the brilliant headline, but I adore it.

From the Independent Reporter, August 14, 1924

DEATH Of MISS OLIVE HAYDEN REMOVES STAUNCH SUPPORTER Of SPIRITUALISM: Pathetic Romance and Life Devotion to Kinsfolk and Friends — Her Public Interests

Memorial services for the late Miss Olive Hayden, a prominent member of the Madison Spiritualist Associaion, were held Sunday afternoon. From her late home at Madison Cener. Rev Frederick A. Wiggin, pastor of the Unity Spiritualist Church in Boston, was the officiating clergyman. There was probably an attendance of 150 people at these ceremonies and quantities of beautiful flowers bespoke sympathy for the family and esteem lor the deceased. A sister, Miss Georgia Hayden of Portland, came for the services and Mr. and Mrs. Kay Tibbetts of Athens were also in attendance. Burial was in Blackwell Hill Cemetery and pallbearers were four nephews, Fred Hayden, Marcus Moore, Ray Tibbetts and Frank Day.

The sudden death of Miss Olive Hayden, after an illness of a half hour, on Friday morning last, removes one of the well known women of this section, who had spent a long and useful life at Madison Center. Although she was fully eighty-five years of age, at the time of her death, members of these two organizations were frequently entertained with much hospitality at her home. She was a descendant of Revolutionary ancestors and was much interested in the Daughters of the American Revolution, although she was not affiliated with any chapter. Miss Hayden had for many years been the Reporter’s Representative at Madison Center.

In her early girlhood, Miss Hayden was a school teacher and in former years was postmistress at Madison Center. She was most devoted to her parents during their lifetime and in recent years she has given the same thoughtful attention to her nephew, Fred Hayden, who lived with her, and who returned her devotion with timely care.

Miss Hayden was one of those rare interesting women, about whom there has clung the delightful personalities of a generation and period, which is now but little known. Her life was shadowed by a pathetic romance, which occurred back in the days of her sweet young womanhood. In those days, when Olive Hayden was young and gay, she had a lover, to whom she was bethrothed. Preparations were made for the wedding and the plans were all but completed. Accompanied by her father, the expectant bride came to Skowhegan to do her last bit of shopping before the wedding and while here, her father learned that the youthful lover had been drowned. He hastened back to the old home with his daughter and there the mother acquainted her with the tragedy. We are told that Miss Hayden at once went to her room and that a year passed before she was able to mingle with her friends or family, rarely leaving her room, except at nightfall. As time went on, however, her devotion to her parents would no longer allow her to remain aloof from them and the world at large and she took up her duties, with a thoughtfulness, which some times seems to come only when a tragedy has entered a life. She no longer yearned, however, for the thing that youth would have been charmed by and never again did she care for the attentions of the youths, whom she had known in her happier days. The wedding dress, a sweet little grey silk gown, was packed away and kept as her choicest treasure. In after years, one of Miss Hayden's greatest pleasures was to spend the day in the cemetery by tlie grave of her youthful lover. Miss Hayden, however, was not a morbid person to meet and cheered, no doubt, by her religion and her faith in communicating with the spirit world, she was optimistic and her companionship cheerful in spite of her sorrows. Of her immediate family, the deceased is survived by two sisters and a brother. They are Lawrence Hayden of Skowhegan. Mrs. Alice Day of Malden. Mass., and Miss Georgianna Hayden, a nurse in Portland, beside several nephews and nieces. Among these are the nephew. Fred Hayden, already referred to, another nephew, Frank Day. a professor at the McGill University in Montreal, who with his wife, is at Lakewood for a summer sojourn. Marcus Moore and Mrs. Nay S. Varney of Skowhegan. 

Miss Hayden’s grandfather, Jedediah Hayden was the first settler near the present Lake Wesserrusett, long known as Hayden Lake. This ancestor started from his home in Gray in 1800 to select a location to his liking. In the course of his wanderings he sighted the body of water already referred to and there decided to build a home for himself and family. He was successful in this attempt, and in the course of time, brought his wife and infant son, Daniel, by means of an ox team to his rude cabin in the wilderness. Miss Hayden’s father was not born for some twelve years or more after the settlement of his parents.  Traces of this early settlers homestead may yet be found near the shores of the lake.

Miss Olive Hayden, before her demise, remained remarkably active and was able to perform the duties. which she enjoyed, tasks though they were, up to the very last. Miss Hayden had seen much of the world's sorrows but she remained cheerful and her life was characterized by self-sacrifice and devotion not only to those bound by ties of kinship, but many others who had felt her protecting influence. She was a devout Spiritualist and Madison Camp at Lakewood, has now lost one of its most energetic and generous supporters. 

She was the second daughter of the Hon. William and Naomi (Lawrence) Hayden, and was born in the section where her death occurred. Her parents were firm believers in the doctrines of Spiritualism and her father purchased the hall it Lakewood, which was built by the Spiritualists and which is now a part of the present Lakewood Theater, this building was many years ago purchased by the Somerset Traction Company, but Mr. Hayden so arranged matters that the Spiritualist Associaion might continue to hold their meetings in the same, free of charge. He died in 1S9S. Miss Hayden, at the time of her death was one of the directors of the associaion, an official position, which she had long held. She was also active in the Spiritualist Ladies' Aid Society, formed as an auxiliary to the association. Since 1902, she has served the society as its president and fulfilled the duties of her office most favorably. She will be recalled by many people as the presiding officer at the annual summer meetings which the Ladies' Aid Society have supported and financed for years. The deceased was an influential member of the Sunshine Society and of Somerset Republicans.